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A Message from Our Pastor
Dear Friends in Christ at Holy Spirit and St. Helen’s,
Why is John the Baptist a central figure in the early chapters of the Gospels and the season of Advent? What does his character provide to the story of the mission of Jesus? Who benefits from coming to know John, the son of Zachariah, a.k.a. John the Baptist?
First, John is important because he is the prophet that bridges the message of the Old Testament and the message of the New Testament. John links the prophecy of Jesus with that of the ancient prophets. God’s promise to fully deliver his people is about to be fulfilled in the person of Jesus but it requires a connector between the prophecies and the person of Jesus himself. John is that connector.
Second, John’s message is simple, “Prepare the way of the Lord.” He calls for repentance as a means of welcoming the Holy One of God into our lives. He urges us to be ready so that we can more fully encounter the Christ, who came into our world and will be coming again in the future. His call for readiness prepares the way for us to embrace Jesus and his mission. Much like Jesus who would later empty himself on the cross for us, we have to empty ourselves of the allurements of this world so as to embrace the love and grace that Jesus came to offer to us.
Finally, we are the beneficiaries from growing more aware of John the Baptist. We are able to embrace the Messiah who comes to free us from our sinfulness and our human condition which leads to death. Drawn into the loving compassion of our Savior, we are given the fullness of God’s grace. If we prepare ourselves we cannot help but be drawn into God’s love and given a share in His divine life.
John heralds a new beginning. He opens the ancient gate to allow the Lord Jesus to enter in order that our lives may be made complete. His rough exterior speaks to an inner peace and a path to true joy.
May your Advent journey be enriched by message of John the Baptist!